One Impressive Run
Grumble all you want, but you’ve probably never witnessed the Kentucky football team make a run like this. Since Stephen Johnson took over, Kentucky is 11-4 in regular season games. It’s the best span since 1977-78 when the Wildcats were 11-3-1 in a 15-game span.
Forty. Years. Kentucky has not won this much in 40 years.
While you let that soak in, let me tell you that Johnson has thrown 13 touchdowns and only two interceptions in his last eight games.
Kentucky’s worst statistical category in the 2016 season was turnover margin. At -7, they were near the bottom of the FBS. Through five games they are +7, tied for seventh in the country. It’s the first time UK has been +7 after five games since 2007.
Half of it can be attributed to Johnson’s ball security improvements; UK has lost just three fumbles. A lot of the defensive efforts can be attributed to Mike Edwards. The Kentucky Badger has three interceptions; only five players in college football have more.
In 2016 the Kentucky defense surrendered 228.2 rushing yards per game. It took four total games for Kentucky opponents to eclipse the 228-yard mark.
Kentucky has allowed 370 total rushing yards, 74 per game. The only teams in the country who have allowed fewer rushing yards are Alabama and Michigan. It’s the fewest at UK through the first five games since the 1987 season.
Garrett “Juice” Johnson has his name near the top of the Kentucky record books. He added 61 yards to his career total on Saturday to surpass Quentin McCord and Dicky Lyons Jr. with 1,772 receiving yards. The only receivers ahead of him are Derek Abney, Keenan Burton and Craig Yeast. It’s a stretch, but if he has a few big games in the second half of the season, he could get the 605 yards needed to surpass Abney and Burton.
Stay thirsty my friend.
The Kentucky Blitz Bro got robbed from a half sack against EMU, but he still had 1.5 to increase his season total to 5.5. He is tied for fourth in the country in sacks and has more than 27 FBS teams.
In the tackles for loss category, nobody in the SEC is better than Allen. With 7.5, he’s also tied for 17th in the country.
BONUS: Special Teams
They never get the love they deserve, but they proved on Saturday that great plays special teams will win football games. A snapshot of what they’ve done in the return game:
- First in the SEC in average yards per punt return (5th in the nation) with 20.8 every time a punt is fielded.
- They surrender only four yards per punt return, ranked third in the SEC.
- On kickoff returns, opponents average only 18.25 yards per return, fourth in the SEC.